Comparative assessment of extreme climate variability and human activities on regional hydrologic droughts in the Weihe River basin, North China
- 1State Key Laboratory of Hydrology–Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, China
- 2College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing, China
Abstract. Drought is a comprehensive phenomenon not only resulting from precipitation deficits and climatic factors, but also being related to terrestrial hydrologic conditions and human activities. This paper investigated the relationships among regional hydrologic drought, climate extremes and human activities in the Weihe River basin, northwest China, where is also called Guanzhong Plain. First, the study period was divided into baseline and variation period according to the runoff trend analysis. Subsequently, the variable infiltration capacity (VIC) macroscale distributed hydrologic model was applied to reconstruct the natural runoff series in variation period. Furthermore, the effects of climate change and human activities on runoff were separated by the modelling results. Finally, standardized runoff index (SRI) and extreme climate indices were generated to quantatively assess the relationships among hydrologic droughts, climate extremes and human activity impacts. The results indicated that human activity impacts is a remarkable source of runoff reduction and represented an in-phase pattern of SRI-based drought severity and warm days. It also showed that the SRI-based floods and droughts characteristics are in good correlation with extreme precipitation.